6 At-Work Back Stretches for Those in a Non-Office Setting

By Savanna Stone
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About thirty percent of construction workers, including plumbers, electricians, bricklayers, etc, experience back pain from their jobs, which is higher than the average of office workers with back pain, according to the Spine Joint Centre. Other workers such as teachers, hairdressers, and firefighters also suffer from back-pain–related ailments at a high rate. Because back pain is such a common occurrence in a non-office setting, we wanted to offer a solution to help relieve back pain on the job. Here are 6 easy stretches you can do at work, before work, or after work to help reduce back pain caused by your job, whatever it may be. 


Doing this stretching routine daily will help you relieve back tension. Doing these stretches just once will not be beneficial; however, doing these stretches a few times a week or daily will loosen up your muscles and help reduce your back pain over time. Stretching the muscles around your back, neck, and shoulders will help relieve pain and tension in your back. Stretching should never be forced or painful but should feel like a gentle pulling. For more information on how to stretch properly, read this blog post.


Side Stretch

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Reach one arm up above your head slowly. 
  2. Lean to the opposite side until you feel a gentle stretch.
  3. Hold your position for five to ten seconds without bouncing.
  4. Release and repeat on the other side.


Easy Backbend

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. 
  2. Place your hands on your lower back at your hips (as pictured).
  3. Breathe in. As you release your breath, lean backwards slightly while keeping your neck in line with your spine.
  4. Hold for five to ten seconds and release. Repeat three times. 

Chest Stretch

  1. Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, raise both arms with your elbows bent so that your biceps are parallel to the floor. 
  2. Pull both arms backwards until you feel a stretch in your chest. 
  3. Hold for five to ten seconds and release. Repeat three times. 


Hamstring Stretch

  1. Stand in front of an object that is about two to three feet tall (chair, bucket, or step).
  2. Place your heel on the top of the object. Hold onto a steady object for balance if necessary. 
  3. Keeping the natural curvature in your back, lead forward at the hips until you feel a stretch in your lower back and hamstring. 
  4. Hold for five to ten seconds. Do this on both sides.


Toe Touch

  1. Stand with your feet about a foot apart.
  2. Bend forward at your hips and reach for your toes. You can also do this sitting on the ground if it is more comfortable.
  3. Hold for five to ten seconds and release. Don’t bounce as you stretch. Doing this daily will help you stretch farther and will help release tension in your back.

Standing Knee to Chest

  1. Stand next to a sturdy object for balance if necessary.
  2. Grab your leg just below the knee and pull it towards your chest.
  3. Hold for five to ten seconds. Do this on both sides.



BONUS STRETCH

Roll on the Chirp Wheel

It’s easy to bring your wheels with you wherever you go. Pack them in the Chirp Wheel Case or just load them up in your car. Taking a few minutes throughout the day to rollout will help relieve tension in your back, giving you the back pain relief you need to get your job done. Here’s how to use the wheel:

Sit and lean back.



  1. Sit on the ground with knees bent and feet firmly planted. 
  2. Place the Chirp Wheel+ against your back in alignment with your spine. Take some time to center yourself and find balance even on the ground.
  3. Lean back gently to transfer your weight to the wheel. Relax and find balance in this position before lifting your hips.

Lift hips.



  1. Rest your hands on the ground, the wheel, or your chest for balance. Do whichever feels the most comfortable for you.
  2. Lift your hips upward while relaxing your back. Find balance with your hips lifted before rolling on the wheel. 
  3. Don’t tense up! The more you relax your back, the better it will feel.

Roll back and forth.



  1. Begin to roll back and forth on the wheel by bending and straightening your legs. Use your hands for balance. If one spot on your back needs an extra massage, stop rolling to put pressure on that spot. Or switch to a smaller wheel.
  2. Roll out for 3 to 5 minutes. Length of preferred use will vary by individual.
  3. Relax your head back to avoid neck pain.

 

 

 

 

References

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. (2011, January 25). Development of a risk score for low back pain in office workers - a cross-sectional study. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3036671/#:~:text=Low%20back%20pain%20(LBP)%20is%20a%20major%20health%20problem%20with,%25%20%5B3%2D5%5D.

Nicholas Coysh Oseopath. (n.d.). The hazard of hairdressing. Retrieved from https://nicholascoysh-osteopath.co.uk/the-hazards-of-hairdressing/#:~:text=However%2C%20studies%20have%20shown%20that,neck%20and%20shoulder%20related%20problems.

The Spine Joint Centre. (2020). Why builders and construction workers suffer more from lower back pain than most people. Retrieved from https://chiropractorealingharrow.co.uk/chiropractor-ealing/builders-construction-workers-suffer-lower-back-pain-people/#:~:text=One%20industry%20that%20is%20more,under%20the%20umbrella%20of%20construction.

State Fund CA. (n.d.). Stretches for construction workers. Retrieved from https://content.statefundca.com/pdf/e22066.pdf

Ward, B. (2020, March 4). 12 excellent stretches to improve back pain at your desk. Retrieved from https://www.btod.com/blog/12-stretches-back-pain-desk/